I recently received a message from someone who read my book. They said lots of nice things about it, but the main thing that stuck out to me was the delicious typo:
“I loved your book about bling dating!”
My mind immediately wandered to what “bling dating” would look like. Would you get loud, flashy jewelry from your date each time you went out? Or would it mean you would wear as much bling as possible on your dates?
This was definitely not my story, as I’m pretty sure the only accessory I was wearing when I met Daniel was a bicycle helmet. But I do love a good malapropism.
These thoughts about bling and jewelry and accessorizing got to me to thinking about the precious women I met in Thailand who make lovely handmade jewelry. Thanks to the grace of God and the help of a nonprofit organization in Bangkok, these women have come out of the sex industry and are learning trades such as jewelry making so they can begin a new life.
My dream for those who read my book is the same dream I have for the women I met in Thailand: that they will know they are loved and of infinite worth and value in their Father’s eyes.
Is there someone in your life who just might need to hear the message of this book—someone who is waiting for something, someone who is in need of hope, someone who needs to know that they are loved and enough just as they are?
I’d love to send three people jewelry handmade by women in Thailand. Let me know in the comments or through a private message that you bought my book for someone, and you’ll be eligible to win one of these beautiful pieces of bling!
Newsflash from my publisher: My memoir is currently on sale at Tyndale’s website for 30 percent off! Order before Sunday to get the discount!
Craig M says
Hello Stephanie. I was so moved by your fairly recent article on “blind dating” (published on the CT website). I had never heard anyone speak so profoundly and intimately on the topic of “dating”, especially from a Christian perspective. It was more than refreshing to hear!
I am a 44 year-old single never-married Christian guy who has wondered the same kind of things you pondered on during the long single-hood of your own life. I have yet to read your book, and I most certainly will. Your suggestions on getting friends, family, one’s own church community involved in “match-making” is a phenomenal thing to promote. And you’re right, that’s how it has always been done. It is truly the most biblical way to get single men and women together. Sadly, it’s a lost art form. Many cultures outside of our North American culture continue to do it of course. And there is that reality TV show I’ve seen advertised that kinda lays some similar premises. I believe it’s called “It takes a church” or something along that line.
I am so glad to hear that your own match making and blind dating adventures ultimately worked out to a positive conclusion. I think with such processes you have to be willing to endure the “ugly” before seeing some good.
You alluded to something in your article that I think many single people have not fully recognized in their own walk with God. As we all know, God is intimately entwined into the tiniest details of our lives. Every hair on our head is counted. He knows what we intend to pray before we even begin praying. He knows the deepest corners of our hearts. He knows us better than we know ourselves! Given these truths, can we honestly question God’s divine plans for our lives? There is certainly no coincidence or “luck-of-the-draw” factor when a Christian happens to spend many years as a single person even though their heart desires a life partner. Could it be part of the God’s ultimate plan for us to remain single for a period of time? Maybe even a long drawn out period of time? Could God be working behind the scenes on something great within the corners of our own heart? Something we can scarcely see or imagine? Something so great that it goes beyond words? Well yes! Yes indeed! God always has a plan!
It’s not to say we cannot petition the Lord when we do not understand how He is directing our lives. But ultimately His plan and His will is always the best…there is simply no better plan. I now fully and deeply believe this to be the absolute truth. Our prayer for our lives should always be “Not my will Father, but thy will be done”. This brings to mind the evangelist I heard speak some years ago who was born without arms or legs. When asked if God granted him a return of his arms and legs would he desire that? He said “Absolutely not. My condition has been a gift from God. I’ve learnt so much and seen so much! I would not be the person I am today.” Wow. I pray for such a level of wisdom within my own soul.
Well, back onto the topic of my own “singledom”; I do believe God does have someone special in the world He intends for me to meet and marry, and I do believe she is in a spiritual “waiting room”…somewhere. The Lord has firmly said to me that I will only meet this person in His time. And my relationship with Him has to be at the right place…And frankly, that works just fine for me. I am so at peace with my “single-ness” now. I praise the Lord for that! The Lord is good, so good! It’s wonderful how far I have come. I must say that presently, If the Lord were to say it is not His will for me to ever be married, that would be fine with me too. The reason? I could only expect greater things to be added to my life in the absence of such a great thing. The sky would truly be the limit! I do not believe C.S. Lewis would be the writer he was, with such a profound understanding of the human condition, as well as the spiritual truths that surrounded his own life, if he had married at an early age. The Lord boldly molded his life into what it was for His greater purposes. And what a great purpose it was!
Perhaps for this very reason I will forever crumble into a wet spongey ball of tears every time I see the last few scenes of the “Shadowlands” stage play. Because truly even the tragic passing of his wife in his later years was part of the Lord’s heavenly plan. It so hurts to see it but you just know. From the deepest depths of one’s soul you just know.
And so I pray. Lord, I thank you for your plan. I thank you for what you are doing in me. And you are truly worthy of all the praise! Amen.
CT Magazine reader (and a very unpublished writer)
You are so right, Craig…God does care about the details of our lives. I pray that he will direct your paths and that you will be able to look back and see how he has been at work.